Episode #13: Hibernation Wisdom

Hello friends!!! It’s officially the boring part of winter (post holidays) and this week’s episode is all about things that help us survive winter in Missouri and Tennessee. We also have an embarrassing story that I still can’t believe really happened.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Here are our tips for getting through a long, dark, cold winter. 🙂

Emma #1: Vitamin D supplements and get outside once a day, even when it’s cold.

Elsie #1: Plan a trip somewhere warm. We’re planning to drive to Florida this winter for our girls’ first beach trip. If you have any suggestions for Florida, I’d love to hear! And spend WAY too much time online choosing the perfect swimsuit. #sparksjoy

If you want to see a clip from the Carnival Cruise VHS we grew up on, here it is in all its glory (still have this song memorized, by the way! I’m so happy this clip was there!)

Elsie #2: Learn something new
I have been so inspired learning new things that I never considered I could do myself. A few years back, I learned royal icing sugar cookies. Currently, I am learning pasta, and next I want to learn to make those fancy layered cakes from Pinterest and also cake pops, just because my kids love them.

Emma #2: Escaping through literature (wine, optional)

Where The Crawdads Sing

The Girl He Used To Know

Elsie #3: Marie Kondo the entire house!

Emma #3: Gratitude + Lowering expectations

Bonus tip: Live in your hot tub (or bathtub). Just never leave.

Embarrassing story: This one is pretty bad! Shout out to Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge … I still love you even though you rejected my gift!

What do you think? Is Shania Twain classic or no?

Guilty Pleasure Treasure:

(Emma is just straight up doing pleasures now)

-Harney + Sons Cinnamon Tea —LIFE CHANGING TEA. You’ve never had tea if you haven’t had this!

Here’s the version with no caffeine.

Emma’s hot toddy recipe using the tea.

-Strange Planet by Nathan Pyle. Here’s a link to his IG.

-Organizing things by color.

Here’s a link to our new app, Template.

I’m SO happy to share my organizing by color defense! I get SO many rude comments from people who don’t like it when I organize my apps or my books by color. It gets even worse when I turn my books around backwards for my fall-Christmas decor. But listen up: I recently wanted two specific books from my shelves, while they were turned around backwards, and I went to the shelves and found then BOTH within 15 seconds. It completely affirmed to me that it does NOT matter how you organize; it just matters that your things are organized to you. You do you, rainbow lovers!

Thank you SO much for listening. We’re SO grateful for your support of our podcast. If you’re just catching up now, you can see our full episode archive right here. xx- Elsie + Emma

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 13 Transcript

Elsie: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast. As two gals who grew up in the Midwest, we thought we’d share some tips around how to not get too sad during a long winter. That’s right. This episode is all about hibernation wisdom. Plus, we’re also sharing another embarrassing story involving a Christmas gift that I tried to give someone that was rejected.

Emma: (laughs) I’m excited. All right. So we’re talking about the winter blues, which I think for many years I was in denial that this affects me. I wanted to be above it, but I was wrong.

Elsie: No one’s above it.

Emma: I get a little sad in the winter, and I really think more than the cold, it’s the lack of sunlight for me. So anyway, over the years, I’ve tried a lot of things. I’ve heard a lot of tips from other friends. And I know you have some things. Elsie. So what we’re gonna talk about stuff that we’ve done in the past and also some things that we’re doing this year trying out. And we’d also love to hear from you all, any hibernation or winter blues tips. And maybe I should say just before we get started, this is for a very mild like just feeling a little bit down in the winter. If you’re feeling like you can’t get out of bed or you’re feeling feelings of self-harm, definitely, definitely reach out to someone that is completely different than what we’re talking about in this episode. And I’m sure that’s probably obvious to 99 percent of you. But I did just want to put that out there. Definitely take care of yourself because you’re all very, very important.

Elsie: Yeah. Just in case. And yeah, starting therapy is like the best decision I made in 2019. So highly recommend.

Emma: If you need help, get help. It’s a very bold and courageous thing to do and we all sometimes need that. But we’re talking about a much more mild just feeling a bit down because there’s not a lot of sunlight and it’s cold. So let’s…tips for this.

Elsie: Yeah, getting dark too early, you know, feeling like you can’t wait for, you know, to feel the sun on your skin and have a, you know, somewhere to be at nighttime and the sun is still out, you know, whatever.

Emma: I just feel like less motivated. I feel a little less like myself in the winter. I just feel like not super hyped to do anything. And just a little just a little down. So, yeah.

Elsie: I like to set a lot of goals in the winter. I feel like trying to use it for good is the best thing you can do with it because it is not the greatest time of the year. And maybe for some of you who live in L.A., you know, you’re like this maybe doesn’t apply to you. But I think for a lot of the country and the world, you do have, you know, a shitty winter that, you know, you wish that you could fast forward and a little bit. So we’re gonna give our tips for how to make the best of it. I was thinking maybe we should go back and forth like you do when I do one. Okay.

Emma: Yeah, for sure. Do you wanna go?

Elsie: You wanna go first?

Emma: That was a true sister moment. Yeah. I’ll go first. Okay. So as I mentioned, I think for me and this is probably true for everyone. A lot of my issue in the winter is the lack of sunlight because it’ll get dark like 4 or 5 p.m.. And so it’s like you’re just getting done with your workday and it’s already dark. So that’s a bummer. So what I’m trying is I’m taking a lot of extra vitamin D supplements and just F.Y.I. I’m not a doctor. Okay. So if you’re going to start any kind of vitamin routine, maybe like talk to someone who knows what they’re talking about. This is just what I’m doing, guys. So I’m taking a bunch of extra vitamin D supplements this year and then I’m also making a big effort to get outside during what I consider my lunch break every day and just walk a little bit and it can be ten minutes if it’s like really like crunchy, like icy out, then I’ll just like walk in my front yard like a psycho and I don’t care. I’m just trying to get a little bit of sunlight on my skin every single day because I feel like it…maybe if I do that, it’ll help me just feel more like I’m living in the real world and not like this dark little cave, just my house all winter.

Elsie: Yeah, that’s a good tip. All right. So my first tip, this is my tried and true my go to I try to do this every year. It doesn’t always happen. But planning a trip somewhere warm is my first tip. So if you have a chance at all, like plan a trip somewhere warm and sunny where you can kind of look forward to it for a month or two, even three months. It actually helps me mentally. This is so random and probably silly, but like for me like in January and February to like go online and like spend a lot of time shopping for the perfect swimsuit makes me really happy because I’m like, looking forward to this, you know, like completely other climate that we’re going to enjoy. So maybe yeah, a little bit of shopping is fun. This year we are…we usually go to Palm Springs in the winter, but this year we decided our daughter Nova is 4 and she’s never been to a beach before and she has been talking about it a lot. She’s seen a lot of Daniel Tiger episodes and stuff with the beach. So she’s been asking us about it. And so we decided this year we’re gonna do kind of a budget friendly road trip to the beach because we learned when we went to Florida last time that it can cost like five hundred dollars for a rental car when you rent car seats and stuff. So it’s actually going to save a ton of money to drive both on the flights, but also on the rental car. And we have never — Jeremy and I as a family have never gone to a Florida beach vacation before. So I’m excited, like research, all the different little options. And it’s a much closer drive from Nashville than it was from where we lived before in Missouri. So anyway, planning that out for the next month or two or three is going to really help my state of mind just to have something to look forward to. I’m very big on having something to look forward to.

Emma: I agree. You know where I’m going warm?

Elsie: I think I already told you, but I can’t remember. As we’re recording this next week, I’m going on a cruise. It’s yeah, it’s my first cruise. I’ve never been on one and I feel like we already talked about this. But I’ll just say it since we didn’t we obviously didn’t record it. But do you remember Elsie growing up? We had this VHS tape that had come in the mail. It was like a direct mailer from Carnival Cruise. And as kids, we would watch it over and over again. And it was just like this lady, this like model. And she would show us…

Elsie: Oh it was Kathie Lee Gifford!

Emma: Oh it was?

Elsie: Yes, it was. Yeah. It was a young Kathie Lee Gifford. Maybe there’s a way we can find it online. It has to be online somewhere. But yeah, we have it like memorized. Can’t decide between a steak and lobster? I’ll order both! Like we watched it over and over as our childhood and like obviously we also had one from the American Girls. Like there’s like a doll, like not a there’s like a place. Is it like? Like I like the store? No, it’s not a store, it’s like a retreat or something. I don’t know. But we had a video of that when we were growing up, too. I guess you don’t remember, though.

Emma: I remember that one, though it didn’t make as much of an impression as, I guess, the cruise one did.

Elsie: The cruise one we watched it so many times and yeah. So I’m excited to hear if what you think of cruises because I feel like it’s like a pretty severe like love it or hate it for most people. So…

Emma: Yeah, I won’t lie. My expectations are pretty low. They’re, I mean, I’m very excited to go. But we’re going, it’s a big group of friends. We’re going. And to me, it’s just like, oh, I get to go somewhere warm in January. That sounds amazing.

Elsie: You need to shop for a swimsuit.

Emma: I’m also thinking, like I’m just remembering as a kid watching that tape. And then we never really went on a cruise. We did go to Disneyland. When one year and that was an amazing vacation. Our parents are awesome, but they didn’t take their three children on a cruise. And I can totally understand why. But in my mind, I’m like, oh, I finally made it in life. I’m going on the Carnival Cruise. Anyway…

Elsie: I’m excited to hear about it. But I personally kind of don’t want to go on a cruise ever. We’ll see. Maybe…

Emma: My expectations are pretty low. I think I’m definitely going to have fun with my friends. And it’s going to be warm. But I’m not too. I don’t expect it to be like my greatest vacation ever. So I think I’m just gonna have fun, swim on the boat, should be great. OK, let’s move on.

Elsie: Ok. So my second tip is to learn something new. This is like the best thing for any anytime that I’m having, just like a little bit of a struggle period. You know, it’s just like finding something that I can learn. It’s so gratifying to me. So the past couple years, I learned some new little technical skills. I feel like I mentioned this before, but like, I got really inspired when I learned a couple of years ago to do royal icing sugar cookies, which is actually like a whole thing. It takes several days. It’s a lot of work, but it’s super fun and learning how to do it perfectly. Where they turn out like just like what you would buy, you know, at a fancy bakery was very gratifying to me. And then recently I learned to make homemade pasta. And I’m still learning. I still want to try like a lot more. But I made my first few successful pastas and it felt amazing. It was, I would dare say, life changing. That kind of stuff just like really motivates me. So this spring. OK. So our daughter’s Marigold’s birthday is at the end of this month, January.

Elsie: So this is the perfect time for me. And I decided what I’m going to learn this month is to do one of those like fancy Pinterest layered cakes with like all the colors, you know. One of those like some, you know, something elaborate, like a cake that is, you know, the one that you would pay like $100 for or whatever. I want to learn to make one of those. And then I want to learn to do cake pops. And I feel like I’ve done cake pops before, but I don’t really remember being, like, excited about it. And Nova recently, you know, had her first Starbucks cake pop and they’re really into it. And I just thought maybe this will be a fun thing to learn for kids, parties and stuff, because we have a lot of kids parties in the next 10 years of our life. And I don’t know, I feel like the little novelty baking and cooking niche is really working for me. So I’m going to lean into that. So yeah, learn something new.

Emma: I love it. My tip two is reading and either drinking some kind of hot drink or wine, depending. I’m always going through phases where I’m either drinking alcohol or I’m taking a break. I’m just always kind of like keeping that in check in my own life. So either way, I think this works, but pretend that I’m putting on the largest nerdiest glasses ever right now, as I say, this next part. I call this escaping through literature. (laughs) Yeah, totally dorky. But I do love it. I love to read. If you get a good book. Anyone who loves to read, you know the feeling of when you’re into a really good book. It’s like you’re most like. I will wake up in the morning and I’m like, oh, I got to get going because I got to get everything done so that I can read my book tonight. Like, that’s like the feeling I have when I’m in the middle of a really, really good book. Right now, I’m just finishing up Where The Crawdad’s Sing I’m probably gonna finish it probably tonight or tomorrow night. So. And I love it. That book rules. So if you haven’t read it, read it. I feel like it’s one of those books I saw a lot this past year on Instagram and other places. So probably everyone who likes to read is already read it. And I’m the last, but if not highly recommend it. And then the two books that are up next, and the reason I have to is because I’m going on my fancy cruise. So I might have more time to read. But here’s the two that I’m reading is Thing You Save in a Fire and The Girl He Used to Know and we’ll put these in the show notes at abeautifulmess.com/podcast. These were both books that my husband gave to me for Christmas. He knows I’m a reader, so he gets me books every year for Christmas. And this is just two of the ones he got me. So I’m very excited to read them. They look very fun.

Elsie: So my third tip is to Marie Kondo basically my whole house. And I think this is the best winter goal possible. But especially for me this year, because we’re moving. We talked about it in episode twelve in detail if you want to hear more. We are about to move and we are moving to a house a slightly smaller than where we live now. So I need to really minimize our stuff and I don’t want to move stuff that we’re going to want to get rid of later. Like I want to really purge before we move. So it feels great. I want to do, you know, the closets and the cabinets and like all those little things that just kind of stay, you know, for years at a time. So that’s my third tip. I think it is magical and can really, like inspire a dull winter, you know, shit day.

Emma: Yes. Oh, my gosh. Yes. If you hadn’t have put that on your list. I was gonna put it on mine because I am the same. I have certain spots in my house that I’m already like just waiting for the free time to like clean them out and like hold each piece in my hand and see if it sparks joy. And then if it doesn’t be like into the box you go! Donate! Because I love it. I feel so much lighter and like more in control of my life when I feel like I know what everything is in my house. I know if I use it or if I love it, I know where it is. It’s just such a good feeling. And if you’re already stuck in the house a little bit anyway, like in the winter, because it’s cold. Then it’s the perfect time to do that activity. And I think it’s so like empowering. It really is life changing magic. OK. My third thing is a twofer. I like to say that I don’t know why. OK, but it is gratitude and lowering expectations. So let’s start with gratitude. Super simple. I do think gratitude is a practice much like meditation or prayer. And you need to find ways and moments in your life to incorporate it into literally your everyday life. You should find ways to have gratitude and some days are much harder than others. And I get that. But it is for you. It is a thing that will make your heart happier. So for me, right now, what I’m doing is every night as I’m falling asleep, like I’m literally already laying in bed, laying my head on my pillow. I think as I’m before, I drift off of one, at least one. But it can be a few things that I’m thankful for. And most of the time it’s like super small shit. It’s like, oh, I finished that project today and I was a little stressed about it. Great. Or Oh, I made a really delicious dinner like a perfectly cooked that stir-fry. How nice. You know, whatever it is, small stuff mostly. Every now and again there is something big and it’s just like a moment every day to be like. Life is good. There are some good things and I appreciate them because there are also some things in the winter that suck like no sunlight and it’s cold and stuff. But I don’t want to focus on that. I want to spend a little bit of energy each day focusing on like there’s some good and I’m thankful. OK. So that and then the other part is lowering your expectations. I definitely have that thing inside me where I expect a lot for myself. And if I’m not meeting my own expectations, I can be very mean inside my own head to myself. So I’m trying very hard to be like, hey, it’s winter time, Emma. So if you want to spend a little more time watching TV the next couple months, that’s fine. As long as you’re still are you doing your best, living your life, doing your work. Loving the people you love. You don’t need to achieve, you know, whatever — the heights right now. It’s winter. Just chillax, hibernate a little. Maybe you’re just a mammal like the rest of the world. You need to just chill. So I’m just going to lower my expectations and not be so just basically hard on myself if I’m feeling just like more tired and just need to sleep a little more. Good for you.

Elsie: OK. So I see here that you have a bonus tip. Yes. So my bonus tip is just live in your hot tub. I basically try to convince all my friends that everyone listening to get hot tubs. I consider myself just sharing the good news and great joy of the hot tub. The gospels of the hot tub.

Elsie: I love it.

Emma: I have one friend who she’s seriously buying a hot tub. And I think she maybe she was already going to buy it. But I’d like to think that I influenced her.

Elsie: I feel like, OK. Alternatively, I want to live in my bathtub. So if you don’t have a hot tub, there’s still hope for you. There is to help for you.

Emma: But also maybe, just upgrade sometime to the hot tub.

Elsie: It doesn’t stay hot for long enough. It’s true. Ok. So we have a couple more segments. We are going to do an embarrassing sorry. And then we’re going to do Guilty Pleasure Treasure before we head on out. All right. Are you ready for my embarrassing story?

Emma: Yes, you kind of like briefly told me before we started recording, but I I haven’t heard this story. I don’t know it. So I’m just hearing it with our listeners, too.

Elsie: I’m so excited. OK. So this happened a couple years ago. Jeremy, I have been living in Nashville for a couple years and this was right before we went to adopt Nova. And we had this cute little bar open in the suburb where we live. Madison. It’s called D’s Country Cocktail Lounge because they do wanna give them a shout out because it’s like the most adorable little, I don’t know, like divey ish bar and they had…

Emma: It’s called D’s?

Elsie: Yeah, it’s called D’s. D’s Country Cocktail Lounge. And so we used to go before we adopted Nova like regularly like several times a week. And we were big regulars like it was our spot. We would go for happy hour, we would go on the weekends. It was like, you know, our fun thing to do. They had a jukebox in D. And it was kind of newly opened. And we used the jukebox all the time because they always had it on like free mode where you didn’t have to pay. You just like went and put in some songs and then, you know, it played them. Yeah. So fun. So they’re always like it’s on free mode. Go put in some songs. And we always put in kind of the same songs, like a couple of Dolly Parton songs and then a couple of Electric Light Orchestra songs. And that was like our special songs that we put in. But I noticed that when you flip through, you know, the jukebox, it was like the kind where there’s the CD sleeves in it and it kind of turns the pages. I noticed that there was a lot of empty ones. So I was like for Christmas. Wouldn’t it be cute if we got a a CD for the jukebox and I could just like bring it in because I guess they just put CDs in there, you know, and then it works. So I went to like a used music store where they sell CDs because people even buy CDs anymore. And I bought best of Shania Twain or Shania Twain Greatest Hits because I thought, oh, that will be fun. It’s like it’s a country bar of most of the other records were country not all of them in. I don’t know. I just love Shania Twain. It’s like my happy drunk music. Mm hmm. And so, yeah, the day finally came, I wrapped it up and our favorite bartender was working. And so I handed him the gift and I was like we got this for you for the jukebox. And he was kind of excited. And he opened it and he immediately handed it back to me and was like laughing. And he was like, are you serious? Is this a joke gift? I thought you were going to give me like an actual good country record. Yeah. He handed it back to me. It was in my hands. And he did not, like, reach back for it. He just kept making our drinks. And my mouth was like open. Like it was just one of those moans was like, I’m not even only pretend like what what just happened is like normal or not embarrassing. It’s just like out in the open and just like is what it is. And then, you know, like a couple minutes later, he was like, “did that hurt your feelings? Was that weird?” And then, like, you know, the next few months, he kept sort of bringing it up over again, like, “sorry about that time with the Shania Twain record”. But okay. So to this day, the Shania Twain CD is in our car.

Emma: I was going to say what a happened, did you sheepishly put it back in your purse? Such an awkward moment.

Elsie: Yes! Yeah. He gave it back to me. And it never went into the jukebox. And. Yeah. Like, I guess maybe it kind of sounds like where I’m calling them out, but I’m totally not like it’s the cutest little bar ever we love it.

Emma: But yeah, it was like a kind of crazy shady thing to do to give someone back a present. So yeah, we kept the CD and now we listen we still listen to Shania Twain for our funny drunk music and to dance with our kids. And it is still one of I stand by it, one of my favorites, like a go to. And I actually love it even more now because I remember that horrible moment when someone gave me back a gift. That’s never happened before.

Emma: No, I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone just hand me back a gift I just gave them. I just am trying to picture, like what you do to be like, oh, I don’t want you to feel too bad about this. But also, you just handed me back my gift so that’s awkward.

Elsie: I was nice about it. But like, it was really embarrassing. Yeah.

Emma: Plus Shania Twain, that’s like classic. But maybe they just thought…

Elsie: It’s not classic to him.

Emma: Yeah, I guess, but I’m like. I mean, come on, though, it is classic, so…

Elsie: Probably drunk people would play it all the time. But that’s because it’s a bar.

Emma: Yeah. If you find drunk people obnoxious. I definitely would not work in a bar. It’s just not the best place to be. If you don’t like drunk people. Yeah. Yeah, that’s pretty. That’s pretty good. I actually think I’ve been to that bar with you. I don’t know which bartender you’re talking about, but I do think I went there once with you and Jer. It was fun.

Elsie: It’s adorable.

Emma: It was very cute.

Elsie: It’s all good. OK. So let’s move on to our Guilty Pleasure Treasure. Do you have one for?

Emma: Yes, I have two, because they’re both kind of small. And also, sometimes I feel like our Guilty Pleasure Treasure. It’s like I don’t know. I think of them as more like just something maybe silly or maybe embarrassing, but also maybe just awesome. But I don’t really have anywhere else to talk about them. If that makes sense. I do feel like maybe we should make a segment that’s like for things that we’re into that aren’t guilty pleasures. I agree.

Emma: I feel like we already have, we just happened to call it Guilty Pleasure Treasure. I don’t know. I just I’m just putting it out there that like these are all things we do sincerely…I just want to make sure people know this is not a joke segment. These are actually things we love.

Elsie: Oh yeah. I think they know that.

Emma: Yeah, I think so. Anyway. OK. So I have two. One. You are definitely familiar with Elsie because I was drinking it at your house last time I was in town. It is Harney and Son’s hot cinnamon tea. I think that’s how you pronounce it. Harney & Sons. And we’ll put a link. So if you’ve had cinnamon tea before, that’s cool. But you haven’t had this cinnamon tea unless you have. And it tastes it smells like red hots candy or kind of like big red gum, which that maybe that sounds weird for tea or like unappetizing. I love big red gum. That’s what our dad had growing up.

Elsie: It’s the greatest tea of all time.

Emma: Oh it’s so good. I literally am like working on a hot toddy recipe for the blog right now with it because I’m like and I’m there. I’m like taking a photo of the tea.

Elsie: Look at this! What do you think is in this cup?

Emma: Oh she’s drinking it right now. Yeah. I bought a huge bag of it as soon as I got home after visiting you because I was like this tea is amazing. So yeah.

Elsie: If you’re ever gonna be influenced to buy one thing that we talk about. Just buy the cinnamon tea. Because I promise you…it’s like next level and it’s still caffeine free. So…

Emma: Well, there’s two types. There is a caffeine version. Oh, yeah. Right. And then there’s an herbal version. So I buy the herbal and I don’t know if they taste the same, but I drink tea all day long. So it’s not necessarily a morning thing for me and I can’t have caffeine past like 3:00 p.m. so. Or I’ll be up all night. So anyway, I have the herbal version. They probably are both delicious though. So if you want the caffeine version, go for it. But it’s so good. Okay. So that’s one. And then my second one is a comic strip. And yeah, it’s called Strange Planet. And the creator. The author, his name is Nathan Pyle. I think that’s how you pronounce it. It’s P-Y-L-E and I’ll put this in the show notes. But it’s just like I’m showing Elsie a picture of it. And I’ll describe it to you all. But it’s just I was a little Instagram. Yeah. He has an Instagram. So yeah, it’s called Strange Planet. And again, I like it, but they’re just like these little creatures. They’re not aliens, but they’re not humans. They’re just like little bald creatures and they’re just doing like regular life stuff. But they. It’s like they use slightly different language. And it just highlights the absurdity of some of the things that we do. And I just love it. It you makes me smile. And it also makes me think about like growing up in elementary school. I would always like check out like Garfield or Peanuts books from the library or, you know, Doren loved Calvin and Hobbes. So I read a lot of that, too. Growing up, I just am like, oh yeah, I love comic strips and this guy’s like creating them now, like he has a book out. I think it recently came out before Christmas. He has a lot of merch. I haven’t bought any yet, but I’m definitely going to. So it’s just this adorable little comic strip. It’s hard to kind of explain in a podcast. I thought about like reading one to you, but I’m like, I don’t I don’t really think it’s gonna translate. You need to just get online and check.

Elsie: There’s certain things you don’t read aloud.

Emma: Yep. It’s heartwarming. Trust me. So that’s mine. What’s your guilty pleasure, treasure, sis?

Elsie: Okay, so mine is organizing things by color. So I posted a picture last week because with our new app came out finally template. So yeah, the template came out and I posted a picture of like all of our apps together because now on my home page are for apps are all in a row. A Color Story, Design Kit, Filmm and Template. And then above that you can see like my folders of my apps and they’re organized by color. And I always get like this strangely intense response about it. And then also organizing…

Emma: Oh people love it and hate it, don’t they?

Elsie: Yes. Like, it’s so intense. I don’t know why it happens the same way with my books because my books in my living room are organized by color. So there’s something that I’ve been saving up that I wanted to like say about that. And I’m gonna say it now.

Emma: Here we go.

Elsie: OK. So I love organizing things by color. I think it’s beautiful. But I think a lot of people will say, like, it’s beautiful. But is it practical? You know, like it’s like some people take it as like it’s kind of obnoxious that I, you know, prioritize beauty over practicality. But I will say that, like I learned this, both with the books…

Emma: These people don’t sound fun to me. (laughs) Ok.

Elsie: Both what the books and the apps I’ve learned that actually your muscle memory is the same like no matter how you organize things. And I know where all my apps are. I really do. I don’t have a problem finding them at all like I do, my brain remembers the colors and it works. And it is practical and OK. Here is my crazy story about my books. So organizing by color is one thing, but then in October through December, we like turn them around because I have this like intense Halloween and Christmas decorating ritual where the books are turned around backwards and that really pisses people off because, you know, then it’s like “you don’t even care about reading”. But this happened. This is real. This is a true story. One day within the last few months when my books were all turned around backwards. I got it into my head suddenly that I like absolutely needed two of my Jonathan Adler books. And I needed them right then. And I walked over to the bookshelf and I found them within 15 seconds. Even both of them — on two different shelves, even though they were turned around backwards. It’s just it’s insane. But like your brain does remember things like it doesn’t have to be organized by author or alphabetically or categorized by subject. Like I now I’m like a true believer since that happened that you can organize things however you want and as long as it’s organized to you like it’s organized. So…

Emma: Those are my favorite comments. Like, I feel like if we talk about politics or religion, we get just as strong of comments as when we talk about organizing or cleaning out books like I just don’t understand why it’s offensive to buy used books from a used bookstore and use them as decoration. You know, it’s not like I’m burning them or like I mean, it’s true that like I’m not intending to read every single book on the shelf, but the decorative books are mixed in with the real books. And like I just said, when I want a real book, I know where it is. Like it’s all good. There’s no problem.

Emma: If you want to be all the way practical. You probably don’t need to decorate your house at all, one. And also, if you truly want to be a 100 percent practical with?your book collection just buy like a Kindle or an e-reader of some kind. You know?

Elsie: That’s true.

Emma: And that’s cool. And if that’s your perspective, great. But like, it’s just weird to me. People who are like, I obviously love tangible books and I want them in my home. But also I think there’s good and bad ways of having them. And I’m like, that’s a bit odd. Right. Like you you kind of see where this is getting off the rails, don’t you?

Elsie: I agree. Save your anger.

Emma: Yeah. Save it for politics, people. The books are fine. Chillax. But whatever people…OK, cool. Well, that was our Guilty Pleasure Treasure. So let’s wrap this up. Yeah. OK.

Elsie: So thank you so much for supporting our new podcast we’re only on episode 13. So it still feels like our little baby. If you’re enjoying it so far, it would mean so much to us if you would tell your friends or your mom or anyone that you think would enjoy listening to it. We really feel like we’re creating our own special little cult here, full of like love and good energy, books, hot tea, maybe wine, you know, all of the things.

Emma: The good stuff.

Elsie: Decorating…Yeah. So it’s the best cult ever. And we’re glad that you’re a part of it. Thank you.

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  • love the podcast, I follow you guys since the red velvet days 🙂 You should put a link to the podcast on the home page/menu of your website for a quick access to the show notes.

  • I absolutely love your podcast. The one about the self-help books and this episode are two of my favorites but all of them I would listen to again. I already have a bag of cinnamon tea on the way for reading one of the books you both shared. Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share this honest, and super fun podcast.

  • Emma- Book lovers totally get it. For a fun new years resolution this year I am going to try to read one classic novel each month. I am only half way through January and have almost finished my first one because I don’t want to put it down. 🙂
    For the winter blues, I am taking an acrylic painting class- bring on all the colors!
    May be kind of weird, but another thing I like to do is put on my favorite suntan lotion…the smell just puts me in that summer state of mind for a bit

  • I LOVED seeing the video from your Carnival Cruiselines ad you remembered from childhood. The outfits in it are priceless!! I loved seeing that you tracked it down!! The podcasts have been delightful!

  • Elsie- yall should totally visit St.A Augustine/Jacksonville/ Amelia Island in Florida. Were also one of the most northern parts of Florida and our beaches are amazing (I’ve lived all over Florida). And then stop by our tea room, Ashes Boutique and Tea Room in Jax Beach (we serve Harney and Sons tea including Hot Cinnamon Spice!!!

  • Thanks for the Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice tea recommendation. I’m drinking it for the first time as I write this, and it’s great. I love that I don’t need to add any sugar or milk (as I seem to have to with most other teas) – it’s perfect just how it is!

    I’m loving the podcast. I was listening while making dinner recently and my husband said “I like this one. These women seem really supportive of one another” and I loved that observation. I’m not a big believer in “GOOD VIBES ONLY” (there are a lot of things happening in the world that may not be fun, but they’re important to pay attention to) but I really appreciate the kindness that you extend to yourselves and your listeners, no matter what you are discussing.

  • Mondays now give me something to look forward to . Really enjoying your podcast. Actually the first I ever listened to. Harney’s tea makes an awesome tropical tea which I first tried at Neighbor’s Mill in Springfield. If you are looking for a beach because you are going for the beach and the water and not touristy things to do that is within driving distance Navarre, FL is beautiful, small, and quiet. If you are going within the next two or so months the water may be too cold, however. We moved here a year and a half ago and love it.

  • Overall, I don’t care how people organise their books – I barely organise mine at all and can still find mine (and we have a lot). BUT I do like looking through other people’s bookshelves to see what books they have. I feel like I learn a lot about other people that way plus sometimes get some interesting recommendations out of it. I hope others get the same from my bookcases too.

    • I agree. Which is why I prominently display my growing collection of romance novels.


  • Arghh !!! I think I reccomended Marco Island to you in my comment. I meant Anna Maria Island!!! Marco Island is nice but not the same vibe as Anna Maria at all! Please checkout Anna Maria ????

  • Not listened to this one yet but loving the podcasts. I have to suggest Marco Island in Florida to you. It has a very nice vibe that I think you would appreciate! I live in UK and have been twice and would visit again in a heartbeat!

  • Re: the rainbow books – I was looking for something on amazon the other day and discovered a seller that, for $4 each, will sell you a random used book in the color of your choice. So if anyone is having trouble thrifting, amazon really does have everything.

  • Re: people disliking the books organized by color: it’s called a beautiful mess not a practical mess

  • Haters on how you organize by color? That seems so insane to nitpick… I love seeing the rainbows and the turned around books.

    Will have to give this episode a listen since up here in the PNW we get real S.A.D. this time of year… for me flower essences, listening to music, and all the tea helps me cope with this season.

    Plus baths.FOR.SURE. Yes!

  • Loved it! And thanks for the tea rec! Just ordered some 😀 What was the other tea company that you guys recommended in an earlier podcast?

  • Elsie and Emma, I really enjoyed that podcast! I hadn’t listened to them before today and now I want to binge listen to the other 12 (?) you have done. Hearing your voices and banter brought you to life for me, if you know what I mean. Thanks!

  • You guys are awesome! I’ve loved following along since the early days of blogging

    Emma- you mentioned 2 of my favorite things this episode! Hot cinnamon tea- this specific tea is a part of my morning routine! I have an Amazon subscription that sends me 50 tea bags every other month ☺️
    Second, was Where the Crawdads Sing- LOVED that book.

    Keep doing awesome things!!

  • You guys are coming out with episode after episode – I can’t listen fast enough! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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